Gunnedah, New South Wales


Gunnedah, New South Wales

Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Gunnedah
state = nsw


caption = Gunnedah viewed from Mt Porcupine.
lga = Gunnedah Shire Council
county = Pottinger
postcode = 2380
est = 1833
pop = 7,542 (2006)
elevation= 264
maxtemp =
mintemp =
rainfall =
stategov =
fedgov =
dist1 = 75
location1= Tamworth
dist2 = 475
location2= Sydney

Gunnedah is a town and Local government area (see Gunnedah Shire Council) in north-western New South Wales, Australia. 7,542 people lived in the town of Gunnedah in 2006, including 931 indigenous persons (12.3%)Census 2006 AUS|id=UCL136800|name=Gunnedah (Urban Centre/Locality)|accessdate=2008-05-29|quick=on] .

Gunnedah is located on the Oxley and Kamilaroi Highways providing road links to the state capital Sydney (475 km) and the nearest regional centre Tamworth (75 km). It is also linked to Sydney by rail. The town is served by the daily Countrylink Xplorer service between Sydney and Moree.

The major industry is agriculture, with 80% of the shire area devoted to farming. Gunnedah's primary exports are cotton, coal, beef, lamb and pork, and cereal and oilseed grains.Gunnedah is also home to AgQuip, Australia's largest annual exhibition of agricultural equipment.

History

Gunnedah and the surrounding areas were originally inhabited by Aborigines who spoke the Kamilaroi (Gamilaraay) language. The area now occupied by the town was settled by Europeans in 1833 or 1834.

Dorothea Mackellar wrote her famous poem "My Country" (popularly known as "I Love a Sunburnt Country") about her family's farm near Gunnedah. This is remembered by the annual Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards for school students held in Gunnedah.

Coal was discovered on Black Jack Hill in 1877. By 1891, 6,000 tons of coal had been raised from shafts. The Gunnedah Colliery Company was registered in May, 1899 and by 22 June a private railway some 5.7 km in length had been completed from the railway station to their mine. In September, 1957, the Government Railway took over the working of the line ["A Short History of the Gunnedah Colliery Co. Ltd. Railway" Eardley, Gifford Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, March, 1977 pp58-67] .

Geography

Gunnedah Shire is situated 264 metres above sea level on the Liverpool Plains in the Namoi River valley. It is very flat; the tallest hills are 400 to 500 metres above sea level. The climate is hot in summer, mild in winter and dry, although rainstorms in catchment areas occasionally cause flooding of the Namoi River. Major floods cut transport links to the town, briefly isolating it from the outside world.

The Gunnedah area is noted for its abundance of native wildlife, including kangaroos, echidnas and koalas. Koalas can often be found in trees within the town, as well as in the surrounding countryside with the help of signs placed by the local tourist centre.

Media

Local media include the Namoi Valley Independent newspaper and the radio stations 2MO and 2GGG. 2MO claims to be the first station established in Australia outside the capital cities.

Railway station

Gunnedah railway station is situated on the Mungindi (or North West) railway line, 475 km from Sydney. [ [http://www.nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Gunnedah&line=NSW:mungindi:0 Gunnedah Railway Station] . NSWrail.net. Accessed 1 April 2008.] The station, opened in 1879, consists of a substantial station building on a single side platform, a passing loop and small goods yard. Currently a single daily Xplorer diesel railmotor operating between Sydney and Moree serves the station. [ [http://www.countrylink.info/timetables/northwest/moree_to CountyLink Timetable] CountryLink.info. Accessed 1 April 2008.]

Notable Gunnedahians

* Erica Packer - mogulette and aspiring pop chanteuse [ [http://www.smh.com.au/news/people/girl-from-gunnedah-to-leave-others-in-her-wake/2007/06/18/1182019036450.html The Sydney Morning Herald: national, world, business, entertainment, sport and technology news from Australia's leading newspaper ] ]
* Miranda Kerr - supermodel
* Ben Smith (rugby league) - Rugby League Player
* John O'Neill (rugby league) - Rugby League Player
* John "Dallas" Donnelly - Rugby League Player
* Dorothea Mackellar -poet

See also

* Cumbo Gunnerah

External links

* [http://www.infogunnedah.com.au/ Info Gunnedah]
* [http://www.agquip.com.au/ AgQuip]
* [http://www.infogunnedah.com.au/shire_profile/main.html Gunnedah Shire Profile]
* [http://www.gunnedahspeedway.com.au/ Gunnedah Speedway]
* [http://www.gunnedah-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/ Gunnedah High School]
* [http://www.gunnedahs-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/ Gunnedah South Public School]

References


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